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Lion Links: 6/13/18

Orlando City is actually getting healthy in Montreal, U.S. U-17s win Concacaf title, USWNT defeats China, and much more.

Soccer: International Friendly Women's Soccer-China PR at USA David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Less than 24 hours, people! That's right. We are less than 24 hours away from the greatest sporting event kicking off. Do not fight me on this. World Cup is my Christmas, New Year’s, and my birthday all rolled up into one month of amazing. I will be watching every match I can no matter who is playing.

Oh yeah, and it’s Orlando City match day.

So to keep you busy until tonight, we’re talking women’s national teams — first team and youth — while the Lions are finally getting healthy, Alex Morgan makes her film debut, and some FIFA news.

Orlando City Getting Healthy...Again

Yes, we are all a bit tired of writing about how we can’t wait for City to get healthy, and maybe we’ve finally hit that point where we don’t have to. It appears all City players —including Scott Sutter, Jonathan Spector, and Lamine Sané — were all training Tuesday in Montreal. That also includes Will Johnson who said he’s doing fine after his hamstring tightened up against Vancouver. As for whether or not we’ll see all of them tonight:

“They’re both in our thinking, in our consideration for starting, as well as available off the bench,” Lions coach Jason Kreis said about Spector and Dwyer. “We have to be mindful. We’re putting a lot into this game. We don’t want to handle it as if it’s the last game of the season, because it’s not. It is an important game, though, and we’ll see where we come out on those two players.”

Getting Dwyer back fully will be huge as the Lions have averaged over two goals per game with him in the lineup. But Kreis is still trying to get his team to play focused for a full 90 minutes, and it hasn’t been easy.

“We need players to step forward. We need players to say enough is enough. I think that we are going to have to talk to individual players about their performance. We have to expect more, and we have to demand more. Again, it’s not to say everything is bad, because it’s not. There are a lot of positive things, but at the end of the day, we need that 10 percent.”

USWNT Beats China 2-1 in Second Friendly

The U.S. Women’s National Team swept its two-game series with China as the Yanks beat China 2-1 last night in Cleveland, OH. It was a tale of two halves with the U.S. dominating the first half but only netting one goal for its efforts. In the second half, China took much more control and pressed the U.S. into a tie at one point. It didn't last long as the U.S. found an interesting floating goal from inside the penalty area by Tobin Heath to secure the win.

Orlando Pride players Alex Morgan and Ashlyn Harris both got the call with Morgan taking the captain’s armband. Morgan had a rather quiet night and so did Harris until she made the save of the match on a great extension that saved the result for the U.S.

You won't have to wait too long for more USWNT as the squad will be back in action for the Tournament of Nations in late July. They also recently announced that they’ll play some late-summer friendlies against Chile in California in late August and early September.

U-17 Women Win Concacaf Championship over Mexico

Yesterday the U-17 Women’s National Team defeated Mexico 3-2 in Bradenton, FL to win the 2018 Concacaf Championship.

This is the fourth championship for the U-17s, and they earned a place in the U-17 FIFA World Cup in Uruguay this November.

The U.S. was also awarded a couple of additional awards for this Concacaf Championship.

Alex and Me Officially Released

Alex Morgan’s debut feature film Alex & Me is available today via digital distribution. It stars Morgan as herself alongside 13-year-old Siena Agudong (Nickelodeon’s Star Falls). Agudong plays Reagan Willis who has dreams of becoming a soccer player like Morgan, who shows up in the teenager’s bedroom after Reagan bumps her head.

“I wanted to eat, sleep, live, breathe soccer at that age, so making a movie like this for kids and teenagers was me thinking back to when I was a kid,” Morgan said.

I will definitely be checking this out as I agree it’s important that young players of all ages have some genuine films and people to look up to.

Free Kicks

I leave you with a bit of news that I am very proud of. Karina (KK) Leblanc has been named the head of Concacaf women’s football. I’ve had the distinct opportunity to work with KK in my time with Puma and I will tell you that this woman is amazing and will do great things — or rather, continue to — for an underrepresented part of the game. All the best to her in this opportunity.

That’s it! Have a great day and get ready to bunker down for the next month watching the World Cup. I know the U.S. didn't make it, but that doesn't mean you still can’t enjoy it!